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Reading Islam

Life and Politics of Brotherhood in Modern Turkey

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Fabio Vicini

In Reading Islam Fabio Vicini offers a journey within the intimate relations, reading practices, and forms of intellectual engagement that regulate Muslim life in two enclosed religious communities in Istanbul. Combining anthropological observation with textual and genealogical analysis, he illustrates how the modes of thought and social engagement promoted by these two communities are the outcome of complex intellectual entanglements with modern discourses about science, education, the self, and Muslims’ place and responsibility in society. In this way, Reading Islam sheds light on the formation of new generations of faithful and socially active Muslims over the last thirty years and on their impact on the turn of Turkey from an assertive secularist Republic to an Islamic-oriented form of governance.

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Räul Tormos

In The Rhythm of Modernization, Raül Tormos analyses the pace at which belief systems change across the developed world during the modernization process. It is often assumed that value change follows the slow rhythm of generational replacement. This book, however, reports trends that contradict this assumption in the field of values. Challenging Inglehart’s modernization theory, the transition from traditional to modern values happens much quicker than predicted. Baby-boomers who were churchgoers, materialists, and morally conservative when they were young, become unchurched, postmaterialists, and morally tolerant when they transitioned to older stages. By using surveys from multiple countries and time points, and by applying cutting-edge statistical techniques, this book shows how citizens quickly adapt their belief systems to new circumstances throughout their life.

Contemporary Russian Conservatism

Problems, Paradoxes, and Perspectives

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Edited by Mikhail Suslov and Dmitry Uzlaner

This volume is the first comprehensive study of the “conservative turn” in Russia under Putin. Its fifteen chapters, written by renowned specialists in the field, provide a focused examination of what Russian conservatism is and how it works. The book features in-depth discussions of the historical dimensions of conservatism, the contemporary international context, the theoretical conceptualization of conservatism, and empirical case studies. Among various issues covered by the volume are the geopolitical and religious dimensions of conservatism and the conservative perspective on Russian history and the politics of memory. The authors show that conservative ideology condenses and reworks a number of discussions about Russia’s identity and its place in the world.

Contributors include: Katharina Bluhm, Per-Arne Bodin, Alicja Curanović, Ekaterina Grishaeva, Caroline Hill, Irina Karlsohn, Marlene Laruelle, Mikhail N. Lukianov, Kåre Johan Mjør, Alexander Pavlov, Susanna Rabow-Edling, Andrey Shishkov, Victor Shnirelman, Mikhail Suslov, and Dmitry Uzlaner

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Edited by Daniel Enstedt, Göran Larsson and Teemu T. Mantsinen

The Handbook of Leaving Religion introduces a neglected field of research with the aim to outline previous and contemporary research, and suggest how the topic of leaving religion should be studied in the future. The handbook consists of three sections: 1) Major debates about leaving religion; 2) Case studies and empirical insights; and 3) Theoretical and methodological approaches. Section one provides the reader with an introduction to key terms, historical developments, major controversies and significant cases. Section two includes case studies that illustrate various processes of leaving religion from different perspectives, and each chapter provides new empirical insights. Section three discusses, presents and encourages new approaches to the study of leaving religion.

Volume 10: Interreligious Dialogue

From Religion to Geopolitics

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Edited by Giuseppe Giordan and Andrew P. Lynch

Interreligious Dialogue: From Religion to Geopolitics discusses how interreligious dialogue takes place within, and is influenced by, important sociological categories and theories, such as modernity, secularization, deprivatization, social movements, and pluralism. Starting from the study of interreligious coexistence, sacred spaces, and multi-religious rituals, the book explores the patterns of interreligious governance and politics and forms of interreligious social action in European, North American, and West and South Asian contexts. The contributors to this volume apply broader theories of organizational change and planning, communication, urban neighborhood and community studies, functionalist perspectives, and symbolic interactionism, thus presenting a wide range of possibilities for sociological engagement with studies on interreligious dialogue.

Megachurches and Social Engagement

Public Theology in Practice

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Mark J. Cartledge, Sarah Dunlop, Heather Buckingham and Sophie Bremner

This book is the first detailed academic study of megachurches in the UK. In particular, it explores the nature and significance of social engagement by megachurches in the context of London. The research contains empirical case studies of two Anglican and three African diaspora Pentecostal churches. As well as exploring the range of social engagement activities provided by these churches, the study offers explanations in term of theological motivations and the influence of globalisation. Subsequently, the book outlines the importance of the findings for the relationship between church and society in the contemporary context, addressing the implications for social policy and practice. The book advances discussions in public theology, megachurch studies, Pentecostal and Charismatic studies and ecclesiology.

Karl Rahner, Culture and Evangelization

New Approaches in an Australian Setting

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Anthony Mellor

The situation of religious institutional diminishment in many Western countries requires new approaches to the proclamation of Christian faith. As a response to these complexities, Karl Rahner suggested a “mystagogic” approach as a future pathway for theology. A mystagogical approach seeks modes of spiritual and theological conversation which engage the religious imagination and draws upon personal experiences of transcendence and religious sensibility. In Karl Rahner, Culture and Evangelization: New Approaches in an Australian Setting, Anthony Mellor develops a reflective process of contemporary “mystagogia”, describing how different fields of engagement require different patterns of mystagogical conversation. While focussing on the Australian setting, these differentiate arenas of engagement are also applicable to other cultural settings and offer fresh perspectives for evangelization today.

Migration Journeys to Israel

Narratives of the Way and Their Meaning

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Gadi BenEzer

This book addresses a lacuna in the study of Jewish and Israeli history - that of journeys taken by Jews in the 20th century towards Israel – which is also a neglected subject in the more general fields of migration and refugee studies. Dr. Gadi BenEzer, a psychologist and anthropologist, eloquently shows how such journeys are life changing events that affect individuals, families, and communities in a variety of ways. Based on narrative research of Jewish people who have undergone journeys on their way to Israel from around the world, the author is able to pose original questions and give initial convincing answers. The powerful personal accounts are followed by a thought-provoking analysis.

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Edited by Pål Repstad

As the title suggests, Political Religion, Everyday Religion: Sociological Trends reflects upon two important trends that have recently emerged in the sociology of religion. Firstly, there is an increasing interest in the interplay between religion and politics. Religion has moved from being almost ignored by sociologists to being acknowledged – some would even say overrated – as an important political factor. Secondly, ordinary people’s everyday religion has likewise become an important topic for many researchers. In this book, James Beckford, Inger Furseth and other prominent scholars present critical discussions and empirical studies of both political and everyday religion, and the editor, Pål Repstad, shows how these two trends should enter into a closer dialogue. The book is essential for both students and experienced researchers in the sociology of religion.

Jesus the Samaritan

Ethnic Labeling in the Gospel of John

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Stewart Penwell

In Jesus the Samaritan: Ethnic Labeling in the Gospel of John, Stewart Penwell examines how ethnic labels function in the Gospel of John. After a review of the discourse history between “the Jews” and “the Samaritans,” the dual ethnic labeling in John 4:9 and 8:48 are examined and, in each instance, members from “the Jews” and “the Samaritans” label Jesus as a member of each other’s group for deviating from what were deemed acceptable practices as a member of “the Jews.” The intra-textual links between John 4 and 8 reveal that the function of Jesus’s dual ethnic labeling is to establish a new pattern of practices and categories for the “children of God” (1:12; 11:52) who are a trans-ethnic group united in fictive kinship and embedded within the Judean ethnic group’s culture and traditions.